Benang by Kim Scott is the latest Fremantle Press Treasure. It was the first book by an Indigenous writer to win the Miles Franklin Literary Award and, after nearly two decades, its continued relevance, its scope, language and largeness of spirit shows why it won our most prestigious prize, and why Scott went on to win it again.
Kim Scott says: ‘Telling Harley’s story felt very important at the time. I wanted to tentatively map a path of recovery from some of the damage of our shared history – the rationalisation of colonisation, the deaths and loss and the reductionist discourses about identity.'
What difference does it make if the characters in young adult novels swear? From time to time, publishers are contacted by parents or schools who are concerned by the appearance in YA fiction of (to quote an editor of T. S. Eliot) words ending in ‘uck’ or ‘ugger’.
The Fremantle Press board is concerned by the recent federal government decision to remove $104.8 million from the Australia Council’s budget over the next four years and redirect it to a newly created fund, to be called the National Programme for Excellence in the Arts.